ARTIST OF THE WEEK CARA ROXANNE
I began by asking her how would she describe the essence of her work?
A dreamy, curious reflection on our inner landscapes, memories, nostalgia and the world behind the old creaky door.
What are you inspired by and what is your current inspiration?
Depth Psychology, inner mythologies, the natural world, animism and a good folk story.
Can you tell us about the influence of other artist’s upon your practice?
I am currently enjoying the work of UK contemporary artist Dean Melbourne. His visceral painterly pieces inspire me especially their primal nature and wildness.
I love the symbolist painter Odilin Redon’s work, some of his pieces are so enchanting, some mysterious, some grotesque and some just so very beautiful. He wanted to
“place the visible at the service of the invisible”
There is an enigmatic quality in both these artists work that inspires me. Nothing is really answered and your imagination can continue it’s own narrative.
What is your artistic background?
I am fortunate to have been born into a family that encouraged creativity for the joy of its process. My parents were ever resourceful (nothing thrown away) so as children we had a wealth of materials to explore artistically and that mixed with growing up rurally the need to make your own fun meant I spent many a day drawing and making.
I studied art at college and have continued drawing and making throughout my twenties and thirties taking art commissions and teaching art alongside writing, recording music and performing with folk duo Crow Puppets.
Over recent years my songwriting and painting have gradually become more symbiotic, one can inspire the other through the images which emerge.
Is drawing from life and the practice of keeping a sketchbook essential to the development of your work?
I love drawing and have kept a sketchbook to note ideas, recording memories through sketch, doodling and writing since I was small. I particularly love doodling while I’m on the telephone (although this did get me in quite a lot of trouble once when I had a office/telephone job)!!
I enjoy seeing the images that can emerge when you turn your thinking analytical mind off and something spontaneous is created. Sometimes these doodles are reused within paintings.
What media do you use and do you have a favourite?
I’d love to say I use oils but I don’t anymore – they give me nasty headaches … but thankfully there is a world of other mediums to use. Here are just a few I have been using recently.
I love inks-fantastic for drips, splodges, splashes and lines.
Acrylic- great for colour mixing and adding textures.
Japanese Watercolours- great for soft colours and details.
Charcoals- great for drawing over painted pieces to bring out certain images within the paint.
Can you explain more about your work Boo!, your creative process and the inspiration for this work?
I am fortunate to have spent a few months in Northern California. I spent much time whilst I was there painting in a studio on the edge of the Inverness ridge. I felt a deep reverence for the Native Americans relationship to the natural world and their depiction of animals and spirits in their creations.
During my time there I was also inspired by the bay painters such as Elmer Bischoff for their exquisite use of colours and brushwork.
Boo was painted during this time. It is a joyful reflection of that playful spirit within us that can bring us back to live in the freedom of the moment.
Your serene and joyful work Emergence depicts a small sleeping creature that has been revealed by the opening of a flower. Can you tell us more about this work?
I love this painting. It explores those moments when something new within our psyches is growing and developing within us blossoming into our lives.
In your semi abstract work Tangled Nest you use a variety of media: acrylic, charcoal, pastel and inks. Can you explain more about your painting process and the application of other media alongside paint?
Tangled Nest took a long time, many layers of paint and different mediums before I instinctively new it was finished. The final image was totally unexpected and led me to consider how the shelters and nests we construct in our lives can sometimes cause stagnation. If we knew the journey ahead it would be hard to stride out and take it, perhaps we would fail to do so at all. However, staying close to shelter, to the place we know best, the warm protective nest can prevent us from our own progress. Like the fledgling bird we must learn to fly. To spread our wings, take to the skies and unravel the knots intertwined in our being.
How do you see your work developing in the future?
I have recently begun selling cards and prints alongside original paintings and I am planning to expand on pieces available during the next year.
I am also working on a developing relationship between sound and image within my work whilst continuing to paint and explore themes from stories and myths across the globe.
Where can we see your work?
I have an exhibition at Willow in Totnes from the 6th November for a month.
You can also currently find a window display in Paris Street Exeter I digitally designed from over 400 children’s art works created with 5 different artists as part of a DAISI project about the St Clarence Hotel and St Martins Parish.
Lastly, my work can also be found at https://www.instagram.com/cara.roxanne/ as I try and update this regularly.
More of Cara’s on Art Gallery SW can be seen at https://www.artgallerysw.co.uk/vendor/cara-roxanne